56,000 US bridges are structurally deficient with under performing spans including New York’s landmark Brooklyn Bridge, accord to a construction industry report released on Wednesday. The Brooklyn Bridge, a New York suspension bridge built in 1883, is among the state’s most-traveled spans. The landmark structure crossing New York’s East River is listed as an urban expressway with over 135,000 daily crossings.
The Brooklyn Bridge (pixabay)
About 1,900 structurally deficient bridges are on interstate highways and vehicles crossing these bridges spans 185 million passages per day, the analysis of federal data by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association found.
Rebuilding US ground transport infrastructure including bridges was a campaign promise of President Donald Trump who has backed a one trillion dollar infrastructure overhaul plan over a decade.
US highway system and bridges
The US highway system “is outdated, overused, underfunded and in desperate need of modernization,” said Alison Premo Black, chief economist of the association, in a statement.
The ARTBA group said 55,710 bridges, about 9 percent of US spans, were structurally deficient, a share that is down 0.5 percent from a similar 2015 report.
Of the most traveled US bridges which are deficient, the top 14 are in California. The one ranking first is the Interstate 110 bridge over Los Angeles County’s Dominguez Channel, which vehicles cross over 275,000 times a day.
State estimates put the cost of repairing under performing US bridges at more than $700 billion, Black said in a telephone interview. “I’d say that’s conservative,” she added.
A bridge is classified structurally deficient if one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is in bad or worse condition.
Among states, Iowa had the most structurally deficient bridges, at 4,968. Nevada had the fewest, at 31. At least 15 percent of bridges in eight states fell in this category, with Rhode Island heading the list with a quarter of the bridges structurally deficient.
The ARTBA report was based on an analysis of data from the US Department of Transportation’s 2016 National Bridge Inventory.